Ever think about how many people you meet? In a day? A month? A year? The number of names and faces that we come in contact with? While you are thinking about that, I am going to try to stir your reflections with one of my own.
Kaye and Susan. Last week my fellow innovators-in-residence left to return to their graduate programs in Baltimore. They were truly my partners in crime for the past ten weeks or so (wow time flies—but that’s for another blog). We designed, we prototyped, we searched for answers, we learned about new things, and we had lunch together (so important), but I learned just as much from being around them as I did from our adventures here—I learned about their journeys. Where they grew up, their differing school experiences, Kaye’s work as a photographer and Susan’s work in sales, and now how they have ended up studying the challenging combination of design and business. There were a lot of things that I learned, but what I will reflect on today is their curiosity and respect for other people’s experiences.
For two people with a lot of diverse experiences, they brought these two aspects to everything, whether a simple conversation with me or something more formal like an interview. They had no fear to ask why and allow people to delve further into their reflections, and they refrained from making assumptions and judgments until finishing their conversations. No matter how much previous experience they may have had with a topic, they always found a way to inspire someone to feel like he/she was saying something new and inspirational. Having been on both ends of these conversations with them, I am in awe of how much information and insight they would be able to get out of every conversation with just a few short questions. It was truly a gift and a privilege to learn from them these past weeks, and my opportunity to continue to learn from them is something I am looking forward to.
So back to my original questions, have you thought of an estimate for how many people you meet in a given time frame? Now think, who are the new people that you are meeting? What are some interesting things you are learning from them?